Over the past years, I’ve frequently made use of mind maps, e.g., to plan projects while at the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce or for parts of my dissertation research. A little while ago, I’ve summarized the article by Eisenhardt (1989) on case study research in a mind map and included it in a blog post. However, I’ve only recently become aware of the mind map library on Biggerplate. It is a neat collection of mind maps across all popular software applications (for an overview, see here). Once registered, you can download the mind maps in their native format and adapt them to your individual needs.
I’ve encouraged my students to use mind maps in early stages of their dissertations, for example. I think it makes it much easier for both the student and the supervisor to discuss research projects if the core ideas are printed on ONE single page. Below is a sample dissertation planner by Tony Buzan, the inventor of the iMindMap software (which you’ll also need to download in order to edit this file).
Buzan, T., & Buzan, B. 2006. The mind map book. Pearson Education.
Wheeldon, J., & Faubert, J. 2009. Framing Experience: Concept Maps, Mind Maps, and Data Collection in Qualitative Research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 8(3): 68–83.